Powell (5-4, 2-1 Northwest) got back in the win column after losses to Cody, Buffalo, Jackson and Lander and can win the Northwest Quadrant Thursday evening with a win against Worland.
PHS coach Travis Rapp said the Panthers were determined to “refocus, do things right and get some goals on the scorebord” against a young Pinedale team.
“We had a couple of games we feel like we could have, or should have, won in that streak so it’s nice to go out and win a game you’re expected to win,” Rapp said.
The coach wanted to come out of the gate running but Powell started slowly in the second of back-to-back road games.
“You always want to jump out on them right away,” Rapp said. “We allowed them to hang around for about the first 10 minutes.”
But when sophomore Trey Ouellette opened the scoring with an unassisted goal in the 16th minute, the Panthers went on to tally four goals in a 10-minute span.
Junior Ty Herd put in a loose ball from the middle of the box in the 20th minute, senior Emilio Raya Jr connected on a 40-yard free kick in the 24th minute and senior Tyler Ouellette took a through ball from Blake Schwan to score in the 25th.
“Just like his brother, (Tyler) attacked the near post and put in a real good shot farside,” Rapp said.
Tyler Ouellette struck again, assisted by Trey Ouellette, in the 67th minute to cap off Powell’s scoring.
Pinedale netted its goals three minutes apart in the second half.
The first came on a shot that Rapp said would normally be “a routine save for Sean (Wagner)” but the sophomore keeper “just lost the ball.”
The second Pinedale score came after Wagner retaliated against a Wrangler who kicked him during a corner kick and was whistled for a penalty. Wagner was given a yellow card and Pinedale scored on the penalty kick.
The boys’ victory, their first since downing Cody on April 22, came after a rough road schedule dealt them three of their four losses. The last came Friday at Lander (12-2, 4-0 Southeast), where Powell lost 6-1.
“(It was) Lander’s senior night and they came out to play and we were a little sluggish at the beginning,” Rapp said.
The coach said the Panther defense did a poor job winning balls in the air, which led to four of Lander’s goals.
The Tigers scored three goals off corner kicks and another off a cross.
“We’ve actually done a pretty good job winning balls in the air (this season),” Rapp said. “We talked about it and did see guys correct it later in the game.”
The Panthers played Lander to a 1-1 score in the second half.
“I think guys were a little bit frustrated and we were able to pull it together at half,” Rapp said.
Herd scored Powell’s lone goal late in the game.
Lander’s Kyle Leemon scored his 25th and 26th goals of the season, but Rapp said Leemon hardly won the game by himself.
“They play really well together,” Rapp said. “You can tell they’re together a lot during the offseason.”
Powell has four days off between games and Rapp said the Panthers are preparing for this weekend as if it were state.
The Panthers host Worland at 6 p.m. Thursday, then leave town for games in Star Valley on Friday and Jackson on Saturday.
At first, the schedule looked daunting.
“But once I thought about it it’s actually a great warm-up for state,” Rapp said.
The Panthers will face tough opponents back-to-back-to-back and extra emphasis will be placed on the first game in the series.
“Obviously Worland’s the most important game,” Rapp said.
The coach said his team would practice at full speed Monday before slowing down today (Tuesday) and Wednesday.
“We’ll hit it hard (Monday) and taper off,” Rapp said.
Senior center-back Noah Katz, who is battling injuries, sat most of the second half against Pinedale and was on the bench when Powell allowed both Wrangler goals.
Rapp said he plans to rest his All-State defender before this weekend’s slate.
|PHS boys' soccer schedule|
|22||Pinedale|| 7-0 W
|29||Star Valley|| 4-3 OT
|| 2-0 W
|7||Cody|| 3-0 W
|22||Cody|| 2-1 L
|25||Buffalo|| 2-1 L
|26||Jackson|| 6-0 L
|2||Lander|| 6-1 L
|3||Pinedale|| 5-2 W
|9||Star Valley||6 p.m.|
| Overall Record: 5-4; Conference: 2-1